For my current project, I’ve kept a fairly detailed process log in Excel format so I can track what I’ve done, what I’m doing, and what I have yet to do.  For the last two weeks, I’ve continuously had 2 pages of tasks remaining.  It’s not like I’m not doing any; rather, every time I finish two or three, I get two or three more.  That slow grind is probably the most annoying part of development, as you can see the goal right in front of you, and regardless of how much progress you make, it’s still the same distance away.

Of course, part of that is the mirage brought about by having a bias toward the parts remaining that you know versus the parts you don’t yet know.  My spreadsheet with tasks remaining doesn’t include all of the stuff that I didn’t think up the first time around, and obviously doesn’t include requirements changes that are bound to happen or those end-of-task clean-up duties that I haven’t quite gotten around to documenting yet.

On the plus side, I spent a fair portion of the day going over many of the pages on my web application and scripting them in Selenium IDE.  It’s a shame that this is a Firefox-only plug-in, as we mainly use IE at work, but there is a more full-featured version available that does integrate with most browsers and I try to make my sites cross-browser compatible anyhow.  At any rate, creating test scripts is literally point-and-click.  For the average script that I’ve created, I had to add maybe two or three commands that were not available on the right-click context menu, and these were for things like verifyNotEditable (which you can use to check if an input box or button is disabled).  From my thus-far-limited experience with this plug-in, it’s got a nice future ahead of it.  There are some UI things that could use some work (like making it easier to create and maintain a test suite, instead of having me hand-edit the HTML files that it creates), but this application definitely makes my life easier and has contributed to me finding a couple of harder-to-detect bugs and parts of the design that I kind of glossed over and didn’t think through fully.


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